AIDS Healthcare Foundation – the largest global HIV/AIDS organization – has been a trendsetter in provocative, thoughtful, and memorable advertising that promotes condom use, open dialogue about sexual health, and getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Creative advertisements from the Foundation have long been cropping up in major cities throughout the United States and around the world, including a controversial billboard in Uganda that tackled the problem of HIV spreading through cheating spouses.
The “Cheating? Use a Condom. Cheated on? Get tested.” ad was posted for four months and important conversation about extramarital affairs and sexual health is still abuzz in Uganda. Now, AHF has premiered its first-ever ad campaign in the central-African country of Rwanda in participation with the country’s Ministry of Health. The simple ad features a smiling young woman sitting on a bed with the hopeful inquiry, “A Free HIV Test Saved My Life – And You?”
The image has received positive feedback from the public via AHF’s social media platforms, including comments about the message’s friendly, normalizing delivery being effective in encouraging testing in a region where HIV stigma and discrimination is still strong enough to deter many from learning their status.
In Rwanda – where AHF supports six HIV/AIDS treatment centers that provide free testing, treatment, and care – approximately 3% of the country’s total population is living with HIV/AIDS, according to the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). AHF is currently providing access to care to 6,951 individuals in Rwanda.